This award-winning young adult novel, set during the American Civil War, tells of Jana Brady, a tomboy whose parents decide the time has come for her to set aside her masculine pursuits and behave like the 16-year-old young woman that she is. Unwilling to submit to dull quilting bees and tea parties, Jana dresses as a man, changes her name, and enlists in the Union Army. As though hiding her physical attributes from an army full of men isn’t complication enough, Jana (a.k.a. Johnnie) falls in love with fellow soldier Keeley Cassidy but can’t risk sharing her secret with him.
As a woman, the description on the back cover caught my attention immediately. Imagining the situations Jana would face in the midst of hundreds of men piqued my curiosity. The book’s front cover added to my interest, being one of most professional I’ve seen to date. Lisa Potocar delivers an exceptional novel. Her colorful descriptions and lifelike characters bring the civil war to life, putting me in the middle of the smells, emotions, and scenes of battle. Delightful twists in the plot kept me reading well into the night. It was a joy to learn about a promising young girl who met her challenges head-on and matured into a strong, self-assured woman. Sweet Glory would be a wonderful supplement to a school Civil War history lesson as well as an entertaining read any time for all ages.